Went to attempt to harvest a bunch of hops last week from my bines in the back yard. Got part of a 5 gallon bucket and put them on a screen to dry in the garage. Came out the next day to turn them and noticed what looked like bits of the lupulin on the edges of the screen except… It was moving! Ew.
My hops are covered in aphids! That would also explain the high number of ants that were falling off the plants when I was pulling them down. Apparently aphids are a favourite bed time snack for ants.
I immediately put those hops into ziplock bags and froze them. They’ll be used as wet hops in a batch of harvest pils or harvest ale. Hopefully no one will notice the extra flavour of aphids in the beer.
Shortly after that exchange I read this forwarded to me from a friend that he c/p from an article here:
“Bug beer is even better. Many of the bugs and bug parts will be filtered out during brewing, but the FDA’s limit on the hops that go into the tank is 2,500 aphids per 10 grams of hops. That’s right, 5% of the total weight of the hops making your summer ale can be bug. A quarter pounder’s worth of aphid butt goes into the brewer for every 2.5 kilograms of hops.”
There’s always next year.